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01-07-2009, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: London Ontario
I'll give a shot for what I think next year's team will look like:
Gagne - Richards - Hartnell
Upshall - Carter - Giroux
JVR - Briere - Nodl
Kalinski - Metro - Asham
As for the defense:
Timmonen - Coburn
Carle - Vaananen
Sbisa - Parent
As much as I hate the idea of Lupul being dealt, I don't think there's any way the Flyers would be able to justify having 10.7 million dollars in salary tied up in the third line. If the Flyers trade Lupul, I really hope they end up getting high draft picks or blue chip prospects for him.
With regards to the D, Alberts has been a pleasant surprise for us. While we could use a D-man with a nasty disposition, fact is, none of the guys we have on the current roster or in the minors have that disposition. Alberts comes close in that he can hit and hit hard, same with Vaananen.
Speaking about Vaananen, he needs to be rewarded for a very good year he's had so far. He's played smart and physical and he's been a very good mentor for Sbisa. As for Sbisa, I think he and Parent are going to make a very solid third pairing. 17 to 19 minutes a night of ice time for the two of them at this stage is more than sufficient. The one thing about Sbisa that really stood out for me has been his poise.
The goaltending is where I expect the biggest shake up. As much as I like Biron, I think Holmgren will look at a guy like Khabibulin and sign him to a two or three year deal while the Flyers start the process of grooming a goalie for the future. Maybe it's just me, but I really think the Flyers are going to go after a top notch youngster like Pavelic or Schneider. Maybe even Montoya, even though his play in San Antonio has slipped a bit (I think it's because he's bored with the AHL and he's ready to make the jump to the NHL). I've got Munroe as the back up, but really, if Holmgren can acquire one of those three, the Flyers have secured a future number one guy for the team.
As good of a guy Mike Knuble has been, it's time for him to go. People may say we need his veteran leadership, but guys like Carter, Richards, Gagner, Hartnell, Upshall, Briere, Metro, Asham, Timmonen, Coburn, Carle, Vaananen, etc....have all been around for a while now, so they should be more than comfortable in accepting a leadership role. Yes, the majority of it is young, but these guys have all played a minimum of four seasons now. They should start being leaders in the locker room and guys like Knuble should be starting to get phased out as the team moves forward.
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